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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Buying Buddhism in Bangkok Thailand

It is odd not seeing monks in Bangkok and it is odd seeing monks in Bangkok.
First there are no Buddhist temples in the ghettos of the wealthy and if there were would the people come out in the early morning hours to put food in the monks bowls? What food do they have to put in the bowls? I can understand why monks are overweight, in Bangkok they must live on KFC, McDonald's and Subway, okay maybe Pizza Company as well.
I saw 1 monk on bindabhat the other morning and his bowl held no food only money. Now I have read in one of Thailand's almost English Language Dailies that monks have been known to fight over alms round routes as some are more lucrative than others financially and I can see why. In many areas people have no place to cook food. But in Bangkok there seems to be no shortage of 7-11s and other minimarts, whatever. And by the build of some of the people they live on minimart food.
Whether Bangkok or Boston the vinaya is still what governs the conduct of the Bhikkhu Sangha and money and monks is not on. I am aware that throughout the country monks no longer keep the vinaya so the point is a bit moot. I am also aware that there are parts of the city where families live and do provide alms to the monks.
I remember years ago when the question of birth control and the Catholic church raged, and priests and celibacy was another topic. People wanted to stay in the church yet take the pill, and priests, oh well. I guess it was back then I first witnessed the hypocricy of it all. I guess back then I learned that if you don't want to play by the rules get off the team. Why do Thai people think they have to be, or play at being Buddhist? Once again it is all a matter of face, not substance.
I guess the question is how long before even the facade of Buddhism dies out, first in the cities, then in the countryside of Thailand?
It already looks like someone else has taken over in Bangkok